The “12th Man” (For Health IT Jobs Placement)

An aspect of this year’s Super Bowl has encouraged me to relate my most recent observations about a valuable resource that can be utilized in this very competitive Electronic Medical Records (EMR) / Health IT Workforce jobs market. The 12th man (Football – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) or 12th player is a term for the fans within a stadium during American football and association football games. As most football leagues allow a maximum of eleven players per team on the playing field at a time, referring to a team’s fans as the 12th man implies that they have a potentially helpful role in the game. This year’s losing quarterback, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, stated in a post-game interview that the sounds and chants of the opposing team’s (Seattle Seahawks) fans on his opening play of the game was so loud his players could not hear his ‘audible,” thus a “safety” was scored by the Seahawks. Not sure how Manning explains the additional forty-one points as the Seahawks reigned supreme with their amazing 2014 Super Bowl win!…nevertheless, the presence of fans can have a profound impact on how the teams perform.

Similarly, I feel there is a “12th man” for Health IT Jobs placement. This person, place or thing can be another great resource regarding getting hired in this 2014 EMR / Health IT workforce jobs market.

I speak about this current state solely from my perspective and observations as an “9 year veteran” of Epic® Clinical Systems Implementations and as a EMR Consultant and “Road Warrior”. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay gainfully engaged in this very challenging but meaningful line of work all of these years.  I attribute a big part of my situation to my ability to acquire four Epic® certifications over these years – thus being more “marketable.”  But I do see how competitive and “tight” this particular EMR jobs space has become. I’m sure many factors are now in play including; the multitude of Epic® implementation completions in major hospitals and clinics nationwide – more and more people have now had the opportunity to get certified, and have worked very hard in completing full cycle EMR implementations, thus the supply of high-level, experienced and certified consultants is ample. Plus, there are many more ‘ex’ Epic® EMR employees in the job pool. Therefore Healthcare facilities have their “pick of the litter.” Add to this,  the 2014 focus on ICD-10 conversion and Meaningful Use deadlines. These particular EMR jobs and consulting positions still exist, but it seems due to these 2014 priorities – healthcare employers are seeking senior level, certified, and experienced people they  prefer to hire on a full-time basis. In other words they want the very best to “hit the ground running” for system upgrades/optimization and meeting this year’s deadlines. Consulting positions are seeking the same high-level of experience and expertise and many opportunities are still available, but you better be ready to negotiate your hourly rate – folks it’s not ‘2011’ anymore.  Also be prepared and really sharp during the interview process!

Having an updated ‘Linkedin’ profile, and constant trolling of the Health IT online job boards is a great way to your next and/or first job placement or contract opportunity. But due to the factors I have detailed above, I recommend you reaching out for your “12th man” for Health IT Jobs placement, in other words take a look at these resources listed below and learn how they may help you:

The “12th man” for Health IT Jobs placement and how it may help you ‘win’ your next employment opportunity:

Former Colleagues and ‘Internal Referrals’ – stay in contact with people you worked with on previous assignments and stay informed of their working status. Many new job specifications begin with project managers asking a current employee and/or consultant if they are aware of qualified resources they would recommend to fill a current position. This is a dynamic pipeline of job placements that never even get listed on the job boards and/or sent out to recruiting agencies!

Recruiters with a proven job placement record – work with “tried and true” recruiters who you have been in contact with over the years or a recruiter who has been referred to you by other colleagues. I prefer knowing who I’m entrusting my resume for submittal and who has my best interest in representing me to prospective employers.

Training – consider enrolling in some type of Health Information Technology (IT) program either online or at your local vocational school, community and/or university level college.  Many of these learning institutions have an excellent availability of retraining and certificate programs that comprise both clinical and IT courses. Your knowledge of Medical billing and coding, Meaningful Use, and other Health IT ‘niche’ areas will make your resume stand out. Be sure to include on your resume your certification of completion of these courses and any subsequent exams successfully earned. This will show potential healthcare facility employers, EMR contract recruiters, and hiring managers your willingness and aptitude in pursuing specific skills, so important for meeting the demands of the ever evolving Health IT work environment.

About the author


Shirley Corsey

Shirley Corsey is a certified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Consultant/Road Warrior, and owner of her own online training center for the Healthcare Information Technology industry. She is a seasoned Healthcare IT professional with over 25 years experience, with a recent career focus for the past 9 years in the EMR job market.